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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/17/2002

Kentucky Lake:    Headwater Elevation - 358.33   Surface Temperature - 86

Lake Barkley:  Headwater Elevation - 358.55  Surface Temperature - 87
The fishing at the end of last week was slow after the frontal passage on Wednesday but things have started to pick back up in the past couple of days as the weather patterns returned to more stable conditions.  Also adding to the better bite is the fact that the dams have started to pull more water giving us the needed current for good summer fishing.  The lakes are on a slow drawdown to winter pool which should last over the next month or so.  
The Largemouth Bass are being caught on the main lake ledges and also in shallow water near wood cover.  The ledge fish are active during periods of current generation and can be caught on Carolina and Texas rigged large worms, creature baits, and tubes as well as deep diving crankbaits, and jignpig.  During no or little current generation these fish can be caught by drop shotting small worms and lizards or by stroking the jignpig.  

The shallow fish are hitting  best early and late in the backs of bays near stake beds and other wood cover as they chase the large schools of bait fish fry that are gathered up there.  These fish can be taken on topwater baits, Texas rigged worms, lizards, and tubes, spinnerbaits, and small crankbaits.  Some of the productive lures being reported this past week are:  

Ledge fish:  Berkley 10" Power worms in Blue Fleck and Black, Zoom Magnum worms in June Bug, Zoom 8" lizards in watermelon/red and green pumpkin/chartruese, Larew Whoodaddy's in Watermelon/Red, Zoom Brush Hogs in variations of watermelon, Snoozer tubes in Road Kill Cammo and Smoke Purple, Poe's 400 crankbaits in purple/white/orange, Norman DD14 and DD22 in white, Tennessee Shad and Baby Bass patterns,  Stanley black/blue jig with black or black/blue trailer.  For the drop shotting technique use the same colors as mentioned above but downsize the baits.  

Shallow:  Strike King Pro Elite white spinnerbaits, Berkley 6" Power Worms in Red Shad and Blue Fleck, Zoom 6" lizards in variations of watermelon, Snoozer 3.5" and 2.75" tubes in smoke/purple and watermelon burst, Bandit 100 series crankbaits in Rootbeer, and Rattletraps in blue/chrome.  
The Smallmouth Bass are being caught on the ledges on the same baits as the Largemouth during periods of current generation.  The Smallmouth are also biting at night on the main lake points of the LBL side of Kentucky Lake.  These night time fish are taking dark spinnerbaits, jignpig, and Carolina rigged lizards.  Spinnerbaits in black and black/purple, jignpig in black/black, and Berkley Power lizards in black/blue are reported as taking fish.
The White Bass are very active right now with the current being pulled and large jumps have been spotted the past few days.  These actively feeding fish can be taken in the jumps by casting roostertails, slab spoons, and small crankbaits into the feeding schools.  When the fish are not on the surface they can be taken along the main river and old creek channel ledges by vertically jigging roostertails and slab spoons.  These fish can also be taken by slow trolling small deep diving crankbaits.
The Crappie are slow and few reports are coming in but those that are indicate that the fish are being taken in 20-25 ft of water near the ledges by vertically fishing small minnows and jigs.  
The Bluegill are feeding on the still emerging mayflies in the bays early and late as well as around docks with wood cover.  These fish can be readily taken on crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  
Catfish are being caught near the river channels in 20-25 ft of water by fishing large minnows, cut baits, and dip baits on bottom.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

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If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

Take A Kid Fishing
Photo by Shawn Dunnaway

These boys had a blast bank fishing on Kentucky Lake. Take your kids on a fishing trip to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley!